Habits are one of the hardest things to break or get rid of, and yet, if you know how to replace bad habits with good ones, you can mould and create a better you which give you better opportunities in business and life. It may somehow look complicated but is not an impossible feat to achieve.So what does it take to make the switch?
You should know that habits are part of your unconscious mind which gives an automatic order to your brain to react, in spite of whatever situation or the moment you are in. A good example of this is checking your phone, even when you are not waiting for any call or message.
Habits, good or bad, are created by doing or practicing something every day until it becomes a wholly natural thing to do, such as driving a car, riding a bicycle or using a phone.
Such behaviours do not only become second nature after a while but can also turn into an obsession, and that is even worse to get rid of but again, not impossible to do. It requires a lot of self-control and discipline on your part. No one else, you and only you can take care of this matter.
But what causes bad habits in the first place? Well, among the many, there are two primary reasons for this.
The Two Primary Reasons
Bad habits usually come down from two major reasons such as being stressed and bored.
Everything you do, such as checking your phone all the time to partying every weekend to maxing your credit cards to spending hours on social media, could be a response to stress and boredom.
You should know that there is always a possibility to teach yourself new tricks and healthier ways which you can then put into place, this way substituting your unhealthy habits.
But you should also realize that sometimes these odd habits may be the cause of deeply rooted problems. These issues can often be unpleasant to think about, but if you are serious about making changes and replace harmful behaviours, then you have, to be honest with yourself.
Ask yourself why you have such unfavourable habits? What are the reasons for such actions? Is it something that happened to you? Maybe some circumstances, fear, an incident, or even a belief that is now causing you to hold on to a thing that isn’t good for you?
You have to identify which causes created your bad habits in the first place because it is crucial to defeating them.
What Do Bad Habits Do
If you have habits right now, good or bad, they are in your life for a reason you generated. It is like staying in a relationship that is not okay for you, smoking or using drugs. In many instances, your bad habits are a simple approach to coping with situations or events that arise in your life.
Once, I stayed for nine years in a relationship in which I gave it my all but where my partner rarely did do a thing, all of this in the hope that she would change at some point in our bond. But it never did happen!
It may be that by checking your phone or social media every five minutes, it might make you feel connected somehow. But you should know that at the same time such behaviour often destroys your productivity, divides your attention span, and overpowers you with unwanted stress.
Maybe, it prevents you from feeling like you are “missing out” on something, and so you do it again and again.
Not Possible to Simply Eradicate
As you already know, your negative habits provide you with some relief in your life, and it is very challenging just to eradicate them. Instead, you have to replace your bad habits with good ones who would provide a related feeling but in a positive way.
In other words, your unhealthy habits state certain needs in your life. So, it is better to learn how to replace your bad habit with a healthier and actual behavior that attends that same need.
You cannot expect to simply get rid of a bad habit without even thinking of replacing them. If you try to do so, some of your wants won’t be met, and it would be hard to make any new habit stick to become a routine, and so, you will go back to your old ways of doing.
How to Break and Replace a Bad Habit
It is time to give you some ideas for breaking bad habits and be able to replace them by good ones in a constructive way.
· Have victory visualizations. Imagine and see yourself not acting on your bad habit for 10 minutes and progressively getting better each day. Whatever the pattern that you are looking to break, visualize yourself smashing it, smiling, and celebrating your success. Then do it physically, bit by bit, adding more time of not doing it. Build yourself a new habit and a new identity.
· Find a replacement for your bad habit. Create a plan beforehand for how you will respond when you face the bad behaviour that pushes you to do it. Whatever it is and whatever you are dealing with, you need to make a plan for what you will do each time you feel you want to act on your bad habit.
· Change your surroundings. If you change your surroundings, you can modify the outcome. For example, if the first thing you do is pick up your phone, then hide it somewhere in a closet, in a different room or ask a family member to put it somewhere for a while. If you drink, then do not go to a bar and have no bottles of alcohol home. Make it easier for you to break a bad pattern by staying away from the things that cause it.
· Be accountable. Team up or pair up with someone else. Knowing that someone else like a loved one expects you to be better is a powerful motivator. This way, you can be accountable and celebrate your victories together.
· Be around people who have good habits. I am not asking you to get rid of some of your friends, but do not underestimate the role of finding some new ones who lift you up and support you.
· Do not try to be someone else. Do not think that to break your bad habits you need to become a different person. The truth is that you already have the willpower in you, we all do. You just need to return to wellness because even if you have not already lived a while without this behavior, you can most definitely be that way again.
· Do not ever criticize yourself. One thing you should not do is to criticize or judge yourself for not acting better. So every time you slip up or make a mistake, tell yourself “It is okay, it happens, but I know I can do it!”
· Know failure is part of the process. We all make mistakes, fail or slip up now and then. Know that it does not make you a bad person. It makes you human. Welcome to the club!
· Do not beat yourself up if you fail at times. You, I and all of us get off track, but what separates the strongest from everyone else is that they get back on track very quickly.
Related article: Top 10 ways to break bad habits
A Final Idea
Put a piece of paper and a pen near you or in your pocket if you go out. And each time your bad habit gets a hold of you, make a mark on the paper. A little before going to sleep, count up all the marks and see what your total is. And begin again the day after by trying to get fewer marks at the end of the day.
Do not judge yourself or feel guilty about doing it too many times. The goal here is to be aware of when it happens and how often it happens. Then just start to act on the ideas I give above and break your bad habits by replacing them with good ones.
It is not an overnight thing. Breaking and knowing how to replace bad habits takes time and effort, some more than others, but with perseverance and consistency, it will happen.
Know that most people who end up replacing bad habits tried and failed multiple times before they made it work, myself included. You might not have success right away, but it does not mean you cannot do it. I believe in you!
Sergei VanBellinghen, Self-Improvement & Success Expert, Founder of First-Class Lifestyle & SergeiVanBellinghen.com It’s not just about ending the 9 to 5. It’s about the lifestyle of earning more, working less, and enjoying life! Find Out How… Visit my Website http://www.sergeivanbellinghen.com and come discover how I can afford to stay home and travel anywhere I want.
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